Sunday, January 23, 2011

Register Now for NERGC (New England Regional Genealogical Conference)

Have you noticed that genealogists are really into to acronyms? Most of the societies I belong to or speak to are known only by a series of letters. There’s MSOG (Massachusetts Society of Genealogists), NGS (National Genealogical Society), PalAm (Paltines to America), SARA (Swedish Ancestry Research Association), OGS (Ohio Genealogical Society or possibly the Ontario Genealogical Society), and many others. My favorite is ISFHWE (International Society of Family History Writers and Editors) – try pronouncing that one! Researchers search in the IGI (International Genealogical Index) or use records from NARA (National Archives and Records Administration.

But today, I want to write about NERGC (New England Regional Genealogical Society Conference). I will be there – and I hope you will too! If you are planning to be there, now is the time to sign up. You will save $25 on registration if you register by February 15.

If you are not familiar with NERGC, of if you are still on the fence about attending, let me apply some persuasion. There are lots of genealogical conferences that I enjoy, but NERGC is my favorite! Really. I’m not just saying that because I’m on the board. (I just have a little job so I can’t take any credit for how wonderful the conference is.) If I could only attend one genealogy conference during the year, it would be NERGC. Here are a few reasons why:

1)It’s convenient. If you live in New England or even near New England, this is a conference that’s within driving distance for you.

2)It’s relatively inexpensive. This is partly because it’s close, but partly because the price is reasonable.

3)It has top-notch speakers. You won’t find a conference with a better line-up of speakers. We have fabulous, nationally known speakers here in New England – and the conference brings in top speakers from across the country. The keynote speakers this year are John Philip Colletta and Paul Milner.

4)There’s a huge range of lecture topics. Even if your ancestors didn’t live in New England, there will still be plenty of lectures of interest to you. Other topics center on immigration research, methodology, DNA research, ethnic groups, and more.

5)Besides lectures, there’s all kind of other things to do at NERGC. You’ll want to spend some time wandering around at the Exhibit Hall. You can sign up for the Ancestors Road Show and ask an expert your genealogy questions. I’ll be helping people with German research problems on Saturday from 1:45 until 3 p.m. And you can attend the Special Interest Groups on Thursday evening (I’m the coordinator for these groups). These are informal groups where you can share ideas and sources with others who have similar interest. You can see the list of topics here.

6)It’s really fun to run across genealogy friends you haven’t seen in a while – and make some new friends.

Remember, NERGC only happens every other year – so you don’t want to miss it. This year, it’s practically in my backyard – in Springfield, MA. So, mark your calendars for April 6-10.

Also, you can join me for a lecture on the European immigration experience, including tips to uncovering your own immigrant ancestors’ stories on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. The lecture is called The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the Immigration Experience. That evening, I will probably be at the Family Chronicle booth during the opening of the Exhibit Hall since they will be selling my book. Stop by and say hello!

For more information, check out the NERGC website and read the blog. There should be a post by me with more information about my lecture coming soon on the NERGC blog.

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